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Friday, May 02, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Tommy Ford v. Bill Wilson (ND Ind., Moody), an 18-page opinion, Judge Tinder writes:

This is a habeas action brought un-der 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which Petitioner Tommy Ford chal-lenges his conviction for murder in an Indiana state court. On appeal, Ford maintains only one ground for relief: that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object when the state prosecutor commented on his failure to testify. Ford contends that an objection would have been sustained be-cause the prosecutor’s comments violated his Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination. How-ever, even assuming that to be true, Ford has failed to show prejudice resulting from his attorney’s failure to object. Therefore, we affirm. * * *

Although the Indiana Court of Appeals applied the wrong legal standard to Ford’s claim, when we apply the correct standard, we get the same result. Even assuming the performance of Ford’s trial counsel was deficient, there is no reasonable probability that adequate performance would have changed the outcome of Ford’s trial. Therefore, the dis-trict court’s dismissal of Ford’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is AFFIRMED.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 2, 2014 04:29 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions